BearWise helps people live responsibly with black bears

BearWise helps people live responsibly with black bears

Recent BearWise Articles

bear on deck stairs

Will bears find a good winter den at your place?

What makes a good bear den? A bear den needs to big enough to curl up in and small enough to keep the bear warm and cozy through the winter. Bear dens are generally well-hidden; pregnant moms work extra-hard to ...
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Bears’ fall eat-a-thon: what’s on the menu at your house?

In fall, bears are hard at work searching for plenty of food so they can fatten up for the winter ahead. The hunt for food starts in late summer as berries and fruits ripen and shifts into high gear when ...
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How bears beat the heat

Summer is prime time for spotting bears swimming in lakes and ponds, splashing in swimming pools and hot tubs, emptying kiddie pools and stretching out in the shade. People can wear light-colored, breathable clothes, big hats and stay inside in the ...
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New STASH & LATCH YOUR TRASH stickers in the BearWise Store. Choose from 3 sizes.

BearWise® is the black bear program you can trust for sound information and smart solutions that help people, neighborhoods and communities prevent problems with bears.

Six At-Home BearWise Basics

Never Feed or Approach Bears

Intentionally feeding bears or allowing them to find anything that smells or tastes like food teaches bears to approach homes and people looking for more. Learn More

Secure food, garbage and recycling

Food and food odors attract bears, so don’t reward them with easily available food, liquids or garbage. Learn More

Remove bird feeders when bears are active

Birdseed and grains have lots of calories, so they’re very attractive to bears. Removing feeders is the best way to avoid creating conflicts with bears. Learn More

Never Leave Pet Food Outdoors

Feed pets indoors when possible. If you must feed pets outside, feed in single portions and remove bowls afterwards. Store pet food where bears can’t see or smell it. Learn More

Clean & Store Grills

Clean grills after each use and make sure that all grease, fat and food particles are removed. Store clean grills and smokers in a secure area that keeps bears out. Learn More

Alert Neighbors to Bear Activity

See bears in the area or evidence of bear activity? Tell your neighbors and share info on how to avoid bear conflicts. Learn More

Do you spend time outdoors…

…hiking, walking, cycling, jogging, camping?

Read how to Be BearWise Outdoors.

A black bear sow and her two cubs stand in a forest clearing - Ontario, Canada

BearWise Educational Materials

The Black Bear Comeback

Black bears once roamed over all of America’s forested lands. But after European settlement, their numbers and habitat in the Southeast dwindled. Thanks to new attitudes and enlightened conservation and management efforts, black bears are making a dramatic comeback over much of their historic home range. Now that bears are returning to areas they used to call home, it’s up to people and communities to learn how to peacefully coexist with these amazing animals.

BearWise shares ways to prevent conflicts, provides resources to resolve problems, and encourages community initiatives to keep bears wild.

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The BearWise® program was developed by black bear biologists and is supported by State wildlife agencies. Read more About BearWise.

The BearWise® name and logos are registered trademarks of SEAFWA, the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.